LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A licensed sex worker operating out of a legal brothel in Lyon County is instituting legal proceedings against Gov. Steve Sisolak over the governor’s refusal to reopen the Silver State’s legal bordellos amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a press release.
Alice Little, who works at the Moonlite Bunny Ranch brothel, says she is taking legal action because she believes that the governor is unjustifiably snubbing sex workers while allowing other high-contact businesses to reopen.
"I believe that Nevada's sex workers have been treated unfairly by the governor,” Little said. “For months, businesses that involve close physical contact, like tattoo shops and massage parlors, have been allowed to reopen while the legal brothels remain shuttered. If it’s safe for a customer to get a massage at a massage parlor, then it should be safe for a customer to visit a legal sex worker if COVID-19 precautions are taken.”
“The brothels have been closed for more than half of this year,” Little said. “Sex workers like me are suffering financially and emotionally. We have minimal options for economic relief and limited alternative employment opportunities due to our stigmatized work history.”
Since the early 1970s, Nevada has been the only state in the U.S. to legalize prostitution in the form of licensed and regulated brothels.
In March, Sisolak ordered all nonessential businesses in the state to shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. His order specifically named brothels among these nonessential businesses.
While many nonessential high-contact businesses have received permission to resume operations, such as salons, spas and massage parlors, and dentists and hygienists, the governor has yet to give the go-ahead for Nevada’s legal houses of prostitution to reopen.
Most strip clubs in Clark County are also still closed because they are considered high-contact businesses. A couple of them have reopened as "bikini bars," but others have remained closed.
Moonlite Bunny Ranch is located in Mound House, just a few miles east of Carson City. It opened in 1955 and was owned and operated by Dennis Hof from 1992 until his death in 2018.
13 Action News has reached out the governor for a statement in response to news of the pending lawsuit. Check back for updates.
Little is being represented by attorney Marc J. Randazza of Randazza Legal Group.